AGRICULTURE Victoria scientists have returned from a Canadian study tour with a wealth of new research information.
Pulse agronomy research scientists Dr Jason Brand and Tim Nigussie visited Saskatchewan and Alberta as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Southern Pulse Agronomy program.
They were part of a delegation which included also South Australian Research Development Institute researchers Dr Christine Walela and Dr Penny Roberts.
During the two-week tour, the scientists identified a range of new research opportunities that could benefit growers and contribute towards an increasingly robust Australian pulse industry.
The group travelled through Canadian pulse-growing regions to meet with a range of researchers, growers, agronomists and other industry specialists.
Dr Brand said the trip provided his team with access and insight into pulse management options being researched and adopted by Canadian growers.
“We looked at research targeting weed and disease management in pulses and saw how growers were using alternative practices such as inter-cropping (or companion cropping),” he said.
Among the highlights of the tour was a visit with Eric Johnson, a weeds researcher from the University of Saskatchewan, and Jessica Weber from the Western Agricultural Research Corporation, who showed the Southern Pulse Agronomy team through several weed management and herbicide tolerance trials and introduced them to growers in the Scott region to discuss how their research was being applied on-farm.
“As an alternative to, or to complement chemical weed control, a number of new options were being investigated,” he said.
“We observed several novel weed control options such as weed clipping and inter-row cultivation that could be combined with laser and microwave technologies and visual sensing to create non- chemical options in the future.
“The discussions with Mr Johnson and Ms Weber will also guide some of the future directions of our herbicide tolerance and weed management research.”
Discussions about research into, and the adoption of, intercropping in Canada were of particular interest to the visiting Australians.